Fence off Segoditshane

I am really saddened by the passing away of Honourable Isaac Davids. My heartfelt condolences to his widow and family. Davids was my client.

I was pondering over his passing on while driving along the Western Bypass yesterday. My thoughts were interrupted by police activity around the Engen Filling Station.  As soon as I had parked at Molapo Crossing Mall, social media gave the answer. Someone had lost their life there, allegedly to thugs.

We may have the lowest murder rates in Arica and the world, but such is the state of our city. You can leave your house to buy a newspaper and you may never make it to the supermarket. If you do, you may never read it. Just the other day I arrived at my residence. It was just after 1a.m.  I had barely started off-loading stuff from the car when I heard footsteps from outside the gate. I took a position and scanned the direction the footsteps were coming.

Then I saw him. He was leaning against a neighbour’s wall. He looked all rugged even under the glare of the street and wall-lights. I waited. No movement. Then I decided to call out to him. At first he ignored me. After two attempts he answered. To be sure, he mumbled something; it could have been an insult. I was asking him what he was doing there at that time of the night. He advanced towards my gate clearly to intimidate. My gate is metal.

Short of him dispatching a projectile through the narrow opening I was looking through, he had no chance getting to me. So I held my ground and insisted on an answer. Again he mumbled stuff. He couldn’t be alone, I knew. He was obviously on watch duty. “What if somebody is being raped inside the house” I wondered. “What if somebody is being murdered?”

Whatever was happening had to be interrupted, so I sent out an alarm. When I looked through the gate again, he had fled. His companion too, I suppose.  You can’t sleep when you’ve seen that. You worry about your kids. Sometime back I had experienced a similar encounter. My office was then, along Broadhurst Drive. Reversing out, just after midnight, I noticed movement in my neighbour’s yard. I could have sworn it was my neighbor. But I had that lightbulb movement.

The movement was too graceful. Like someone doing the moonwalk only, in slow motion. People don’t move like that and my neighbour would likely have called me to be sure I was okay. Thieves, I knew. I sounded the horn and yes, there were three of them.

They abandoned whatever they were doing and advanced at my car in clear frustration. I knew they didn’t have much

time, so I kept my hand on the horn. Stones rained on my car. Most missed. It ended soon as it began. They ran away. They didn’t have the luxury of time. I can exhaust all column space telling you about my experiences and those of those near and dear.  

My brothers were mugged and robbed, my sister was mugged and robbed. But I know I have been comparatively lucky. What I have seen is nothing compared to what many have suffered. Some have been killed. Some have been raped. Some tortured and assaulted. They bear wounds too deep to heal.

My design is not to grumble about the situation. I am one person very much wrongly accused of being in an unholy legal relationship with criminals. It said out of both emotion and ignorance so I simply take it on the chin. I understand the deep pain(s) from which the accusations are made. It is just that I am a firm believer in legal representation. That’s all.

It is doubtable that we can eliminate these crimes altogether. But we can’t just give up. A few things need to be taken care of. One of those, is the Segoditshane river belt running across the city. It is as much for birdlife as it is for dangerous thugs. A friends’ relatives were marched into the bushes and raped there. There are clearly identifiable crime hotspots along it the police often warn the public about. A friend’s bag was snatched there. She says they went looking for it in the bushes the following day. What they saw was harrowing. The bushes hold more Omang cards than the National Registration office, more handbags than Oriental plaza, more bank cards than Barclays Bank.

We know the problem in part. What don’t we deal with it. I can understand the significance of preserving it for birdlife and for the few who occasionally get allocated chunks of it. The least we can do is to securely fence it off especially at the areas that constitute hotspots. Maybe just open a few areas for access by the public.

The area around the two Engen filling stations  is particularly problematic. The thugs that ply it make nothing of crossing over, robbing motorists at the Engen Wimpy filling station, and disappearing back into the bushes. The Western Bypass stretch is one of the preferred stretches used by the public for health walks and jogging. It has great significance to the life of city dwellers. Let us fence off Segoditshane in the most decent way possible. Let us save a life.

Chief On Friday



Proposed law against sex offenders

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